Run The Jewels are blowing up right now. There’s really no other way to say it. And we knew from experience that they were going to flat out nail it at Red 7 last night. What we weren’t prepared for was how impressive their opening acts were going to be. That’s the nature of Red Bull Sound Select shows.
Atlanta-based group Baby Baby took the stage by storm with an energetic blend of punk rock and crowd banter. Baby Baby is the kind of band that will force you to stifle any pre-conceived notions and just start moshing. Their frenetic performance was the definition of infectious, and the crowd loved it. Baby Baby’s whirlwind of a set proved that the attention they’ve been receiving is more than well-deserved.
The League of Extraordinary G’z have a proven track record for consistently great rap shows in Austin, and Thursday night was certainly no exception. These guys are a musical collective in the truest sense of the word, with each member contributing their own slice of sonic accompaniment to the show. Intelligent lyrics with rapid-fire delivery are their tools of the trade, and it was cool to seem them do it for a big crowd of enthusiastic people.
The Outfit, TX have a distinctly Dallas hip-hop vibe, which makes a whole lot of sense considering that’s where they’re from. Production wise, their tracks almost come off as creepy. Or at least unsettling. All of which is not to say that they were abrasive, which was not the case. The Outfit, TX put on a spirited show, with dynamic rhymes and memorable hooks. Almost immediately after taking the stage, they changed the vibe to suit the particularity of their sound. The crowd was more than willing to accommodate.
You could cut the hype in the room with a knife by the time Run The Jewels hopped on stage. Something about the buddy-buddy vibe Killer Mike and El-P have together is irrestistibly endearing. They played off each other at every turn. From clever aside comments directed to one another and the crowd, to the brilliant interplay in their songs, these dudes are at the top of their game. It seems likely that if you didn’t see them at Red 7 on Thursday night, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing them on Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show. And at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November.
Run The Jewels played songs from their self-titled debut, as well as a good chunk of material from their forthcoming album, Run The Jewels 2, to be released on October 28th. During their set there was the real sense that they were having as much fun as the audience. Sadly, there were no cat sounds to be heard. For more photos of Thursday night’s Run The Jewels show at Red 7, courtesy of Mike Cortez, click here.